FLOODING FAQs – UPDATED 9/23/2016 – 2:50 PM

| September 22, 2016

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Where can I take my debris that was damaged in the flood?

A: Debris Collections sites have been set-up in the cities of Waseca, Janesville, New Richland and Waldorf. Additional debris collection information can be found at: http://ci.waseca.mn.us/important-clean-up-information/

Q: Is it safe to pump water out of my basement?

A: If you have significant water in your basement (i.e., 3-4 feet), we recommend holding off pumping water out of the basement until the City Building Inspector can assess the property. External ground water might be putting pressure on foundation walls, which is being equalized by water within the walls. Removing this equalizing pressure could cause foundation walls to collapse.

Q: Can I pump water from my basement into the street?

A: Significant amounts of water in a basement should be allowed to drain naturally through the floor drain. If you have 3 to 4 feet of water or more in your basement we would advise you not to pump water out of the basement and allow it to drain naturally in order to maintain equal pressure from the outside and inside of your foundation.

Q: Is the City helping pump out basements?

A: The City (including the fire department) is not able to assist in pumping private property (basements, backyards, etc.).

Q: Can I file a claim with the City?

A: Yes. You should document the damage to your personal property with pictures and make sure to contact your insurance. A claim form can be picked up at City Hall.

Q: Is the City water supply safe?

A: Yes, City water is safe to drink, bathe in, cook with, etc.

Q: Can I flush my toilet?

A: If you are NOT experiencing back-ups from the sanitary sewer system (i.e., through floor drains, bathtubs, toilets), then you can flush toilets.

Q: Should I flush my toilets/use my sewer now that the sewer backup has subsided?

A: If you are not experiencing a sewer back-up you can use your toilet or other fixtures that connect to the sanitary sewer.

Q: Is my street “closed” if there are no barricades up?  Water is about 2-3 feet deep.

A: While the street may not be posted as “closed” any street that is covered by water is extremely dangerous to cross and should be avoided.

Q: This has never happened to me before. What am I supposed to do?  (sewer backup)

A: If you experience a sewer back-up you should document the back-up and any damage with photos and contact your insurance company. You should also contact a professional service that deals with cleaning sewer back-up issues.

Q: What should I do about turning off my power?  I have water in my basement and things are plugged in down there.  Water is getting close to my outlets.

A: The City Electric Utility will disconnect your power if you request it and are concerned about electrical issues in your home. You can also call a private electrician to disconnect power and provide advice.

Q: If my basement flooded do I need to replace my furnace and/or water heater?

A: State law requires that if your water heater or furnace ignition source contacted contaminated water (storm or sewer), or the fan to your furnace contacted water, it needs to be replaced. All electrical equipment or components that have been submerged must be replaced. See the attached document for more information: Electric Equipment Damaged by Floodwaters

Q: Do I need to permit to replace drywall and insulation in my basement?

A: Yes, the installation needs to be permitted and inspected to ensure that an appropriate vapor barrier is included. This is to protect the homeowner from mold forming on the drywall and insulation. You can contact the City about getting a permit.

Q: A solicitor showed up to my door to offer their services in cleaning and repairing my home, can I trust them? 

A: You should only use contractors licenses by the State of Minnesota for repairs to your home, and anyone offering door to door sales of services they need a solicitors license from they City. You can contact the City to see if the individual is properly licenses.

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